Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Title: Uber Das Prinzip Der Unschuld
Format: Released as a digipak CD (in a normal edition, and a limited edition with bonus 3" CDr "Lesungen Zum Prinzip Der Unschuld") by Beverina (Latvia) in 2007, cat ref bp050, and in a cassette-tape pressing on the Sabbathid Records label (Japan), cat ref hoof035. The tape version has a extra track on it, but a shorter, changed running order.
Edition: Standard digipak CD in pressing of 500, with the limited edition with bonus disc only running to 25 copies. Tape pressing was limited to only 100 unnumbered copies.

Track Listing:

CD pressing:
1. Intro: Agonie (oder der Übergang in’s Nachtreich)
2. Ein Traum in einem Traum
3. Folterqualen der inneren Hölle
4. Morella
5. Das vorzeitige Begräbnis
6. Die Glocken
7. Outro: Der Eintritt des Todes

Tape pressing:

Side A
1. Intro: Agonie (oder der Übergang in’s Nachtreich)
2. Ein Traum in einem Traum
3. Folterqualen der inneren Hölle
4. Das Ovale Portrait (cassette-only track)
5. Outro
Side B
6. Morella

If this title seems vaguely familiar to you, then it's probably because we've indirectly come across this particular release before - the limited edition 3"CDr bonus disc was reviewed back on 13th March 2009, whilst the different version of "Morella" (with vocals) released by Canadian manic Keegan Irvine through his S*F*M label was covered on 2nd June 2009. Here, however, we get a chance to consider the full album "Uber Das Prinzip Der Unschold" (loosely translated as "The Principle Of Innocence").

You might recall that Nazgul was pretty effusive for the 'Morella' track back in June, noting that it was "a glorious slap in the face for all those who thought that Hugin would never progress beyond the early "bedroom days" of self-produced DIY demos.....this is a fabulous song from a fabulous album, and for all nay-sayers out there who thought it could never have come to pass I encourage you to seek this out and digest it with a healthy portion of humble pie."

Well, you won't be surprised to learn on the basis of that comment that the entirety of this full-length release is of equally high-quality, and really does come recommended to listeners who fancy a more relaxing and uplifting performance. However, it's not just Nazgul who is giving this review praise, oh dear me no. Let's consider the review of this release at the acclaimed Heathen Harvest website:

"Yes, [Metal Archive] says they play black metal, but with this release the band took a complete turn in their musical journey, and create music in the regions of neoclassical, martial and ambient. One of the band members however might ring a bell here and there. Alex Wieser, who is also known as Hugin, also creates or created music in Uruk-Hai, Folkearth, and several other projects. For the second track on this disc the familiar poem 'A Dream Within A Dream' by Edgar Allan Poe has been used, in a German translation. The song starts off with a dramatic and melancholic neoclassic tune before it turns into nice epic martial music. The song fades to thunder, before the first melancholic neoclassical tune starts again, now immediately accompanied by a vocalist saying the poem. This combination is continued until the song fades out, with some more thunder.

Besides this track, the only other track that has vocals is the second one. This track is substantially longer, nearly twice as long as the first one, and begins again with thunder and a martial tune that sounds very similar to the one from the previous track. It's not strange to think one is listening to the very same song still. The performance of the vocalist, Seigor, is very powerful, and I would like to hear more of him. If one needs to have someone to read poems out loud to music, this guy is a recommendation. The following three songs are musical interpretations by U.B. of some more of Edgar Allan Poe works. The first two are two short horror stories, which is of course a perfect setting to create dramatic neo-classical music for.

Even though 'Morella' is nearly 30 minutes long, and 'De Glocken' 22 minutes, they have plenty of variation to not become too boring ... It's good music to have in the background, and probably even better when you're familiar with Edgar Allan Poe's works that have inspired the songs on this album.

Overall, it's a pretty good start for this band in the neoclassical area of music. If they improve, and make something that's more suitable for actively listening, this can be indeed very promising. The creativity is there, and so is the ability to produce a coherent release within a theme (Edgar Allan Poe). Keep an eye on this band..."

Which is all fair enough - this is by no means a 'metal' album but by golly it's a spectacular piece of music overall, and if you're not adverse to some contagious piano melodies and Edgar Allen Poe atmospherics you really ought to give it a try. Indeed, copies are still available from the official distributor www.evildist.com including (at todays date at least) their very last copy of the limited edition version too, which is probably the only place you'll find it now.

Cold Spring Records provided the following on the CD version of this album:

"The 14th release of this Austrian act. "Is there a desire to live a life after you awoke? Do you wish to flee? Are you strong enough to be your dream? Are you ready to give up what you think is reality? Can you leave behind your faith and to focus the light of your eyes on perception. You must be willing to learn to live again and to bear the pain of thousands of aeons. Pain will be a friend on your side. You will bring death to your loved ones and this will be the sin of your love." 80 minutes of Neoclassical, Martial and Ambient music with medieval elements. Limited to 500 copies in an elegant gold digipak. Very reminiscent of Von Thronstahl and Blood Axis in places."

Very, very different from most other releases that Alex has had a hand in, but regrettably it appears that the Elisabetha project may now be defunct. That would be a great shame, for whether or not this neo-classical interpretation of the band was a commercial success the quality of the musicianship shines through. Still, like all good vampires, perhaps this one is just sleeping at the moment....

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